Sunday, 17 February 2013

"The Wheels Of The Bus Go Round and Round.." (But not in the Countryside.)

We went to Cork city on Friday.  The missus had an hospital appointment.  Just 60 miles for a ten minutes conversation.  I of course went with her to give her passenger commentary while she drove the windy roads to Cork.  I noticed a lot of the fields still are full of straw stubble and far too wet to plough.

Any road we got to the Cork 'Park and Ride' after negotiating lots of chicanes and one lane dual carriage way designated roads because of the major new road works in the city.  Don't get me wrong it's great to see infrastructure and the lads and the machinery working.  It's just that the 'powers that be' don't seem to spend a penny on the rural roads.  You can't even walk along the country roads at night because there are no pavements, ridiculous high speed limits on roads built for horses and carts.   Public transport is very rare or even doesn't exist.

Any road (again).  We paid five Euros for a parking ticket and boarded a BUS.  I had to go upstairs (naturally) and enjoy my midlife crisis/second childhood and realise that I was actually on a bus.  Is it really too much to ask for to have some public transport in a rural setting?  My next adventure is to go on a train.  It's been so long and I am starting to get dewy eyed when I see television programmes which feature trains.  Hey perhaps I could get a train to go with my 2 tractor collection?

The bus journey was really enjoyable and it dropped us off in the city centre.  We decided to pass some time 'people watching' and doing some 'retail therapy'.  I waited outside one shop listening to a busker playing a saxophone and an elderly lady came up to me and said:

"Isn't it dreadful having to listen to them playing their organs in the middle of the street?"

I have course nodded in agreement (can't you tell I am half English?) and wondered why is it always me who gets asked their opinion by complete strangers.  Perhaps I look wise, mature or just completely daft?

Do you want a laugh and a joke?  Good.  Go to Animation.  There's a self taught genius animator from Cork called Andrew James who's posted his cartoons.  There's lots of swearing and the accent sounds like a certain ex Manchester United midfielder talking.  My favourites are: "I can't do it." Handsome Donkey, "Awful Sad" and "Fat Rabbit".   Enjoy folks.


  1. Country mouse goes to the big city ..........

  2. Yeah I think you're right John. It was a bit like playing Mick Dundee in 'Crocodile Dundee'. I didn't say "Gooday" to every body though.

    Thanks John.

  3. Can't remember the last time I was on bus, and I haven't seen a double decker in these parts for years.
    A few of the rural routes are provided by private companies using smaller mini-coaches, maybe 18-seaters, but only a few and not frequent.
    Lake District has a company called Mountain Goat, using similar mini-coaches, giving mainly touristy tours, but I think also used by locals, visiting all sorts of out-of-the-way places.

    Last time I was on a local train it must be 20 years ago, went to Barrow from Workington, the West Cumbrian line. Spectacular scenery in parts, but slow and the track needs attention and the carriages are one step up from cattle wagons.
    And I went from Carlisle to Penzance, I think it's the longest route in England, it worked out cheaper than putting diesel in the car, and faster. Nice comfortable seats with a table between, read, eat, drink, watch the world go by. A good way to get somewhere.

  4. Hi Cumbrian,

    I remember the Mountain Goat bus from my many visits to the Lake District. I live on a beautiful peninsula in West Cork and the powers that be are always promoting walking and tourism. They even have designated walks like the Sheeps Head Way and Beara Way. I often try to tell people that you can't expect to attract walkers without providing some kind of infrastructure - banks, campsites, toilets, bunk-houses and public transport. Bed and Breakfast is not enough.

    Public transport is more environmental (18 people using the same amount of diesel as one car) and it's socially friendly (you meet people) and you get far less traffic in the little towns.

    I know Penzance. I adore St Michael's Mount. Been looking at the Eden Project (never been there), on their website. There is a reduced admission for people come via public transport.

    I think public transport is like country pubs or village shops. If you don't use them - you'll lose them.

    Always wanted to go on The Severn Valley Railway. Very few steam railways in Ireland.



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